Superstar Rajinikanth turns 68 and his fans, industry well-wishers and friends have been wishing him non-stop on social media. The legendary star actor has made a strong comeback at the box-office with 2.0, which is running successfully currently grossing more than 600 cr at the worldwide box-office after 13 days of its run.
After Kaala failed to make much impact at the box-office and after Thalapathy Vijay’s recent films Mersal and Sarkar grossed more than 250 CR each at the box-office, some Kollywood industry experts were quick to pass judgement that the Superstar had lost his throne and that Vijay was the next box-office King from Tamil cinema.
Such comments gained prominence whenever the Superstar slipped with his films in the past 15 years or so - Baba, Kochadaiyaan, Lingaa, Kabali and Kaala to be precise. At the time of Baba’s failure, it was Chiyaan Vikram who was red hot at the box-office with back to back massive mass hits like Dhil, Gemini, Dhool and Saamy.
But one mustn't forget the fact that Vijay is just 44 now and Rajini is 68. When Baba released back in 2002, the Superstar was already 52 and was unrivalled in terms of box-office pull in Tamil cinema. He had famously said after the success of Chandramukhi (2005) that “he was a horse and not an elephant” and that he would bounce back quickly and gallop faster in case he fell. This was a direct response to his critics and haters who were in a hurry to write his obituary. The Superstar has done just that with 2.0 now and he will have one more chance to showcase his glorious box-office prowess with Petta set for release this Pongal 2019 in January.
Rajini also deserves all the credit for whatever overseas market that Tamil cinema has today. Right from the early 90s to his most recent 2.0, his films have consistently raked in the moolah abroad and paved the way for other films to also have a base. His films broke barriers and reached beyond the traditional Tamil cinema overseas markets like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore. And in Japan, he is a one-man show to date.
We aren’t in any way demeaning or putting down Thalapathy Vijay’s box-office might here but we have to give him more time and see how he is able to hold his fort and widen his horizons in the years to come. Will he be able to run the show even in his 50s and 60s like the Superstar is doing now? Let’s wait and watch.